Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Season 2; Episode 9 - Ashes to Ashes: You Should Read This While Intermittently Watching Videos Of Kittens And Puppies Romping, Because It's Both Boring And Depressing And Videos Of Kittens And Puppies Romping Fixes Both Of Those Things.

This thing would've been up last weekend, but I was sick with what I'm pretty certain was Ebola or something in the same strain-family as Ebola, and also Gilmore Girls (shut up) arrived on NetFlix so that's been eating away at my entire existence taking up some most of my time (I said, shut up).  So, here it is.  Perhaps not the most inspired of posts (are they ever?)  but whatever.

In which I get to dissect an episode about police brutality against a black youth who's armed only with a pitiful bouquet of flowers and a tub of strawberry yogurt.  So...this shouldn't be awkward and uncomfortable in the slightest.  Can we go back to finding new ways to describe the decaying prairie dog corpse residing on top of Emily Valentine's head? No?  Okay then.  Let's get squirmy.

We open at House Of Walsh, nighttime.

Inside to the Living Room Of Walsh where a bunch of Adult Randos who fell straight out of 1982 are convened and sitting on folding chairs and looking at...something.

Which turns out to be this guy, standing at the front of the group, looking at his wristwatch.

Brandon and his trashy hair and Brenda, with her reasonably cute sweater and Vulvodynia Jeans, stand in the doorway and judge all the Old Timers.  Rightfully so, I believe, given how all of them are dressed.

And then Rando Guy launches into, "Believe it or not, that was 90 seconds.  Not a long time by any means, but certainly long enough for any garden-variety criminal to rob your house; rob you bat blind!  It's not my intention to frighten you!  I'm simply trying to point out that in that same 90 seconds, an armed guard from the West Beverly Hills Patrol would've been at your doorstep!" and dude needs to calm the fuck down and work on his presentation skills (or cut down on the coke) because he's like, shouting at everyone and coming across like a real bossy prick.  So basically, he's coming across like Brandon.

Cindy, Jim and some biddy sit in the front row and nod in approval.  Side note: Cindy looks very pretty in this scene.  Not that you can tell from this still.  But she does.  Trust me.

So Rando Guy says, "Before I take any questions, I'd like to thank our hosts of the evening - also they are our newest subscribers - Jack and Candy Welsh."

That was...GLOOOOOOOOORious.  As is Cindy's Cut A Bitch face.

As Rando Guy chuckles like some kind of sweaty sexual deviant and the crowd of Old Timers applauds, Jim and Cindy turn around and Jim clarifies, "It's Walsh.  Jim and Cindy Walsh."

Later, Rando shows Jim the ins-and-outs of the Walshes' newly installed alarm system.  Brandon and Brenda walk by making faces and Brandon condescendingly mutters to his father, "Well, now we can sleep at night." Jim mutters back, "Huh, don't get me started, this was your mother's idea," because he apparently thinks the man standing RIGHT NEXT TO HIM WHO WORKS FOR THE ALARM COMPANY HE'S CURRENTLY DISSING can't hear a single dickish word he's saying.

Cindy, meanwhile, has her hands full with the biddy, whose name we find out is Mrs. Cooper.  Cindy's talking about being another "block captain," because it will make her feel important in society and she won't have the need to knock back a bottle or three of Sutter Home white zin every afternoon (I'm paraphrasing).  Mrs. Cooper talks about some Lieberman's in the neighborhood whose house was recently broken into in broad daylight, as well as the some dude with the last name of Kaplan who has a bunch of yapping dogs.  And then she asks Cindy if she knows of the new people who moved into the old Walker house.  Cindy's all, "What are they like?" and Mrs. C. tells her, "Colored." Hahaha, just kidding.  She merely chortles all racistly and says, "Oh, you'll see."

WBHHS the next whatever.  Vivica A. Fox's name splashed across the screen.  They should've also added "Vivica A. Fox's Original Face" when the DVD for Season 2 was released.  I'm pretty certain she had started fucking with it by 2007.  Which is pity, seeing as she's SO PRETTY in this episode.  It's a lesson for the kiddies, guys: if you go too far on jacking with your mug, you end up looking like a pillow-faced, dead-eyed ventriloquist's dummy:

Or some melted candle wax figurine hybrid of Current Day Lil' Kim and Billy the Puppet.

Next, we have the usual establishing shots interspersed with photos being taken.  Like, it's a normal scene of extras walking around campus, and then there's the sound of a camera clicking and suddenly...

...the shot becomes a black-and-white picture.  It's really quite clever.  And by "quite clever" I of course mean "the polar opposite of  'quite clever' and a plot device that's going to rank as my number one enemy, even above one Brandon 'Douche Who Is Smarmy' Walsh, by episode's end."

To the parking lot, where Steve pulls into a spot, gets out of his appallingly license-plated Corvette and says to no one, "Ah, he's lookin' cool.  He's drivin' cool.  For Steve SAUNders, the world is one huge clam." SERIOUSLY.  And then this happens:

Steve cackles like the buffoon that he is and in that moment we get a black-and-white still photo of him.  Because whoever is behind the lens (let's not beat around the bush: it's Vivica A. Fox's younger brother) is apparently into disturbing horror photography.  Or loser clowns-with-mullets photography.

Over to Kelly and Donna sitting on a bench, and Donna applying mascara...

...which, yes, becomes a black-and-white still.

And then this one with Donna making the same face I make whenever Brandon, Steve and David are onscreen simultaneously, and Kelly yawning WITHOUT COVERING HER MOUTH which just makes me want to stab something, like myself in the navel or perhaps Kelly in her tiny sustenance-hole.  Sorry - I have a real (irrational) problem with people who don't cover their mouths when they yawn.  As I stand on the train during my work commute every morning and evening, I survey all the people who do it and it's just such a disgusting look for everyone.  Like, no one can make yawning look good.  And then I contemplate all of the bad breath being emitted out into the train car that everyone else has to breath in and yeah, I get the science behind the fact that even though someone covers their mouth while yawning, that air/breath/fleck of tonsil stone is still making its way out into the atmosphere, but as I said above, I know it's irrational.  It's like my boyfriend's butthole pool water theory.  Shall I continue? Okay it's basically this: that when you think about it, you realize the water in a swimming pool touches hundreds and hundreds of buttholes.  And then you see people like, getting mouth-fulls of it and spitting it out like they're a fountain and WHEEEEEE.  And then you think to yourself That dude just deep-throated a bunch of butthole water.  And it all really just makes you want to not breath in public and/or go to the pool ever, ever again.  MOVE ON, you implore? By all means.

Kelly manages to sort of redeem herself by bringing her hand to her mouth at the last minute.  That's right, Kelly: no one wants to inhale your stank dick/morning breath.

And then YAY.  A black-and-white of Dylan and Brenda being PERFECT.  All is right with the world now that they're back together.  I mean, for a while, at least.

Back to color and Brenda asks Dylan, "Your mom has been here for 3 weeks so far, am I ever gonna meet her?" He advises her, "Bren, you gotta trust me, you do not want to meet this woman." And because Brenda's a Walsh, after all, and unfortunately shares some of her twin brother Brandon's terrible personality traits, she dismisses Dylan's observations of his OWN FUCKING MOTHER WHO ABANDONED HIM and scoffs, "Come on, she cannot be all that weird."

Instead of telling Brenda to fuck off, Our Dylan wraps his arms around her and teasingly says, "No, of course not, Bren.  I mean, I know everybody's parents listen to tapes of wind chimes in the car." Brenda turns to look at him, confused, and asks, "Wind chimes?" and then...

...we thankfully get another flawless black-and-white of Our Beloveds.  And I know it obviously goes without saying but they both looked pretty terrific in this scene.

Inside SIIIIIIIIIGH to the DJ booth and me excreting a singular tear from my right eye.  My left eye, meanwhile, is twitching like a mother-fucker and my mouth is forming the word "NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOO." Luckily, this is one of only three times we'll have to deal with David this episode, and in this instance he doesn't utter a single syllable.  PRAISE be to LUCIFER and his minions for that.

Next, Brandon's strutting down the hall like he's some Tough Guy and not the 3' 7 ¼" sprite we all know him to be.

And then a black-and-white.  Anyone else tired of this yet? Tired enough to say, jump through a second story window like Helen Hunt on PCP? Me too.  Totally.

OH HEY and then it's another black-and-white, and this time Brandon's checking his watch because he's oh-so-important and has places to go and people to see.  Or, he's seeing how much time he has to pinch off a loaf before the next bell.

FUCK.  Another black-and-white, of Brandon checking out some Rando Blonde walking down the hall.  If I didn't already know who the photographer was, I would've assumed it was AHHHHHHHNdrea.  Or perhaps Emily Valentine on a U4EA bender and desperate for Brandon's genitals in her mouth.  Whatever.

Brandon dwarfily swaggers into The Blaze office all, "Good morning, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea."

AHHHHHNdrea (who most likely sleeps under her desk, seeing as all she ever does is work on the school paper and talk about working the school paper and pitch story ideas that she could write about for the school paper) could easily be mistaken for the paper's faculty adviser.  Either that or an overly-involved room-mother.  Or room-grandmother.  Anyway, she goes into some verbose explanation of having supposedly found the paper's next staff photographer.  Because they apparently had to try out for the position, and submit their portfolio? I don't know.  But I guess my high school was low-classy (it totally was) because I don't think anyone had to tryout for anything when it came to the school paper; I think if you showed up, you were given an assignment, which was probably copying the horoscope out of the back of the Denver Post or something.  There were no investigative exposés or undercover assignments followed up with hard-hitting think-pieces.  And there certainly wasn't some weirdo walking around campus taking pervy pictures of unknowing subjects.  In conclusion: pipe down, Robert Dowdy, Jr.  You know what I just can't wait for, you guys? The AHHHHHHHHNdrea-centric episode of "Down and Out (Of District [GET IT?!? DO YOU GET IT?????]) in Beverly Hills." Which is just like, three episodes from now.  So be prepared to call into the blog sick that day.  I know I would if I could.

Anyway, AHHHHHHNdrea, who could really use a good eye cream, a hot oil, a new hairdo, new glasses and someone to tell her not to wear her pajamas to school, informs Brandon that the photog whiz's name is Robinson Ashe the Third, to which Brandon Brandonly (i.e. annoyingly) retorts, "Ahhh, yes, Robinson Ashe the Third.  Splendid chap.  Not to be confused with Robinson Ashe the Fourth, of course, or for that matter, Robinson Ashe the Fifth," in this faux British-y accent that you know just got AHHHHHHHNdrea's motor (meaning her vagina) running.

She then shows him some of the pictures, the first of which is of Brenda and Dylan (Can I have this one to hang on my wall? Mostly because I'm creepy but also because it's adorable)...

...and then another photo of Kelly, squinting into the sun, and Donna (I guess) applying more make up.  Please note that these pictures don't appear to be so much "lifestyle" shots, as described by AHHHHHHHHHHNdrea, but rather, invasive and voyeuristic snaps taken from a long distance in a bush or a tree somewhere with a telephoto lens.  Brandon apparently does not agree with me, seeing as his only query is, "Can he shoot sports?" Probably, if by "sports" you mean "the football team in the showers after practice from a crouched position in a closed locker." AHHHHHNdrea tells Brandon that he can ask Robinson himself, as the junior Herb Ritts is in Tech class (with Jinx, the Space Camp robot again? I sure hope so!) that period, and that Brandon has to be the one to talk to him about joining the paper since AHHHHHHHHHNdrea is so dreadful in the whole "social skills" arena.  Once again, I'm paraphrasing, but not by much.  AHHHHHHHHNdrea actually comes off somewhat self-aware here.  I mean, not so self-aware that she will alter her behavior in any way.  But still.

So following much hemming and hawing (Brandon) and an attempted suicide with an errant cat whisker to the wrists (me), Brandon sashays into Tech class and scopes out the scene.  He spots this Date Rapist-looking Chad Bro sitting at a work station and immediately believes the stuffy-looking Rohypnol dealer to be Robinson Ashe the Third.  Of course, if you've watched enough predictable, terrible television in your lifetime like I have, you know that it's all a wacky mix-up and as soon as Brandon asks Chad Bro if he's Robinson Ashe the Third, the black kid standing in the back there, completely obviously in the shot, is going to turn around all, "Yeah?"

AND OH HEY LOOK THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.  Except that instead of "Yeah," Robinson says, "Yo." Because he's black and the writers thought it sounded more "street," I'm sure.  ANYway, Chad Bro can go back to finishing up plans for his monstrous assembly line machine like The Inventor's in Edward Scissorhands.  Except the Chad Bro's will dispense roofie-laced jungle juice at the end instead of freshly baked sugar cookies.

So Brandon introduces himself and his sports editor title (BIG WHOOP) and says, "I hear you're pretty good with a camera." Robinson (henceforth known as "Robbie") lets me know that he and Cat Anus Mouth Brandon are going to get along juuuuuuuust fine when he pompously replies with, "Just pretty good? Or good enough to become the next staff photographer of The West Beverly Blaze?"

Cut immediately to outside somewhere, and marching band practice...

...which CHRIST JESUS OF COURSE turns into many, many, (far too) many black-and-white photos, including this one of some chick getting down with her bad self and her saxamaphone.

Also: this bespectacled dude trombone-ing.

As well as this mullet trash (no, not Brandon from the "Pilot" episode or Steve from...every episode) wailing on his tuba.

Shot of Robbie snapping away.

Black-and-white (RUN A WIRE HANGER ACROSS MY THROAT) of these sad-sack-looking sad sacks on their trumpet and clarinet, respectively.

If you can believe it, another black-and-white of some trumpet guy.

A black-and-white of some headless someone's flute.

A black-and-white of the inside of a horn, followed up with a black-and-white of my lifeless body after I pitch myself head-first into a fence post or maybe like, the blades of the rototiller I rented, lugged into my house and upended for the sole purpose of braining myself.

So then these fools are walking around the quad and Brandon asks Robbie, "How's it goin', Chief?" thereby pushing me right over the edge and forcing me to down the last ¾ of this bottle of Charles Shaw Pinot ("Two-And-A-Half Buck Chuck," if you're nasty) and taking me from "tipsy" to "all the way naked-wasted-face-down-on-the-bathroom-floor."

And then they're like, BFF 4 LIFE and Robbie razzes Brandon and Brandon razzes Robbie and I'm pretty certain they'll be making out soon, so at least that's something to look forward to.  Except that Robbie kind of reminds me of David (except, you know...black) and that is just perhaps the most heinous comparison I could make.  Robbie should immediately walk himself into the nearest oncoming freeway traffic.  The 405 is thataway, dork.

Robbie then turns into Urkel, sans glasses and suspenders but with the added bonus of a lady's silken paisley blazer from J. Jill, in addition to the same constipated, did I do that? expression on his face, and asks Brandon, "Can I ask you a personal favor? Do you by any chance live north of Wilshire?" and (CUE THE "I LIVE IN L.A." THEME MUSIC [there should totally be "I Live In L.A. theme music]) I KNOW WHERE THAT IS AND WHAT THAT MEANS NOW YOU GUYS.  I mean, I would I hope that I would know that, seeing as we're coming up on our 2 (TWO!) year anniversary here in Los Angeles.  HOLY MOSES, time sure flies when you're a pathetic loser  an aspiring authoress, writing about a crappy old television show that no one gives three blistered dicks about anymore living the dream.  Whatever, Brandon makes like he's not going to give Robbie a ride home because he's embarrassed to be seen with him (shades of the Brandon Hates Black People origins of this show, I see), but that just turns out to be a non-funny joke.  Much like Brandon himself is.  Brandon asks Robbie where he lives and we cut to...

...Cindy, carrying some kind of crockery, ringing the bell to some McMansion-y looking house.

This lady answers the door, and long-and-tedious-story-short, this is Felicity Ashe, Mother Of Robbie And Vivica A. Fox.  They talk a bunch of boring shit about moving, etc.

Cindy then whips out a pamphlet from the West Beverly Hills Patrol ("So A Black Family Moved Into Your Neighborhood"), hands it to Felicity and advises, "I'm the new block captain for the neighborhood watch." Why don't you just cross-stitch it onto a pillow, Cindy? GOD.  She adds, "It's not like Beverly Hills has a major crime problem or anything, but there have been some incidents this month." Felicity jokingly tells Cindy, "Oh, we heard.  In fact, my husband thinks it's a good thing all these break-ins started before we moved in," but of course Cindy fails to find the humor until Felicity explains it to her and this is just really, really, criminally dull and I'd like to mention that I would be keen on Cindy's shirt if it was about 3 sizes smaller.  Or the same size, just paired with something more body-conscious than the apparent over-sized, cherry tomato-hued sweatpants she has belted for dear life around her midsection. 


PUT THE CAMERA DOWN, ROBBIE.  See, just like David.  Brandon's driving the dweeb home and Robbie tells him that previous to his family's move, they lived in "the 'hood," but they relocated to Beverly Hills because Robinson Ashe the Second told his wife they'd live there someday.  And it's revealed that Robinson Ashe the Second is some kind of popcorn magnate (no, seriously).  His company's name? Poppa's Popcorn.  Brandon's all impressed, because he doesn't get out much.

Brandon pulls into the driveway at the House Of Popcorn and Robbie bribes him for a ride to school everyday in exchange for exploded corn kernels.  WHO CARES.  I'm starting to long for the days of Allison And Neal, Psychotic Married Interlopers here.

Robbie finally gets the hell out of the Mustang to go inside and develop (and jack off to) all of the icky, secretive photos he took of The Gang earlier in the day.  Brandon begins his backward descent out of the driveway, and I'm really hoping that that cunt karma's back to bite him in the ass in the form of an booze-bag-piloted F150, come to wrap its Ford logo'ed front grill around Brandon's throat.  And then! IT HAPPENS.

Sort of?

Not an F150, but rather whatever this gross car is.  And not Brandon's throat, but the rear end of the Mustang.  And now I'm all confused inside because AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, it happened to Brandon, but WHAT ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL MUSTANG? Whoever's driving that trashy convertible is going to pay.  WITH THEIR LIFE.

Oh.  The person driving it is clearly Lisa Turtle.

Except NOT AT ALL.  I know Lisa Turtle, broad.  And you? You are no Lisa Turtle  Nice try, bitch.

If you haven't already figured it out, this is Vivica A. Fox, aka Charise Ashe of The House Of Popcorn.  And her and Brandon scream at each other for what feels like an hour about who was at fault for the fender bender.  And while I'm kind of on Brandon's side, because I do think it was Shoddy Replica Lisa Turtle's doing...

...I CANNOT with Brandon's Belligerent, Smug, Rat Dick Brandon Face.  So, Ersatz Lisa, you're free to go.  But really, they threaten each other with their respective fathers.  Yeah, Brandon, because Jim is known in certain CPA circles as The Intimidator or some shit.


Into the K.O.W. and Brandon's railing on his dad, all, "I can't believe what I'm hearing here! Why should I have to pay for something that wasn't my fault?" Jim tells him, "I already told you, I will pay for it.  It's a non-issue.  So let's drop it." Brandon thinks it's about the principle of the matter, and that because Charise was at fault (and black!), she should pay and blah blah Brandon get's his racism on blah.

Jim eventually peaces the fuck out of there, because he's finally coming around to the realization that Brandon sucks on widely varied levels of awfulness? Hopefully?

So then Cindy attempts to reason with her son about not wanting to get into some Springer-style Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! rumble with their new neighbors, but of course Brandon is a horrible bigot and doesn't want a black person to get one-up on him and doesn't understand and keeps arguing and arguing and Cindy finally snaps, says, "That's the way I feel and that's the way it's gonna be!" with this NIGHTMARE-INDUCING face on, hurls a loaf of bread and several button mushrooms at his confrontational little pin-head (I wish), and then Bad Bitch Struts herself out of the room.

Brandon tries to get his sister to see his supremacist side of things and asks her, "You know why they're doing this, don't you?" Brenda replies, "Yeah, for free popcorn." Brandon is not amused and tells her, "Ha ha ha.  You know the worst part about it is that girl's gotta be gloating right about now."

Quick cut to House Of Popcorn.

Inside to the Living Room Of Popcorn.  And guess what? Poppa Popcorn is basically telling Charise the same thing that Jim and Cindy tried to tell Brandon.

He informs his daughter, "We didn't move to Beverly Hills so you could make a spectacle of yourself." Charise slaps back with, "Right.  We moved here so we all could become a whiter shade of pale...what am I supposed to tell them back in Inglewood when they ask why we moved out?" Poppa Popcorn is not the one to be messed with and he hits back with, "How 'bout tellin' them the truth? How about tellin' them that one of the reasons we moved out was to put as many miles between you and that Devo Demars character, with whom I know you're still hangin' about?" Devo? If when we're finally introduced to this character and he's not wearing one of these, I just don't know what, you guys.  Also: has anyone else started counting their tiny eyeball veins in the mirror out of sheer boredom? Just me?

Poppa Popcorn then tells Charise to go to Brandon and inform him that the House Of Popcorn will cover all the damages to his car.  Maybe next we can talk about insurance premiums! Because that would make for SUPER fucking riveting television as well.  Just like everything else in this episode so far.

As Charise makes her way outside to go find Brandon, Brandon's walking up the Driveway Of Popcorn to tell her the same thing that she was going to tell him.  And they kind of tease each other about the other's driving abilities and these two actually have a good deal of chemistry between them and it kind of makes me wish the Charise character had stuck around.  But not Robbie.  And it probably goes without saying but none of this matters seeing as Charise and the other Ashes will join the ranks of We Will Never See Them Again status following this episode, so whatever.

Oh.  NOOOOO.  There's a black-and-white of Charise laughing.

AND THEN A BLACK-AND-WHITE OF BRANDON LAUGHING WHAT THE GODDAMN FUCK.  Because Robbie somehow got out of the house with his camera in tow and was able to get multiple angles of these two?

The answer to those questions is no, of course not! He was able to get them from his ooky predator stance from the second story of the House Of Popcorn.  Seeing as his camera's magical and was able to get the above shots and all.  FUCK.  I really hate this guy.  Except for when he publicly screeches Brandon down later in the episode.  Because Brandon deserves a taste of his own self-righteous, dwarf-like medicine.

H.O.W. next morning, or maybe like, mid-afternoon.

Jim and Cindy are asleep, following what I presume was a raucous dusk-'til-dawn fuckfest.  Or whatever Jim's comptrolling roll-in-the-hay equivalent is.

The house alarm is activated and Cindy bolts up, telling Jim to call the security patrol. seeing as she's unable to because...? She's a woman? I have no idea.  Jim attempts to calm her down by telling her that it was probably their idiot son (I'm paraphrasing) who triggered the alarm, and sure enough, Brandon's voice rings out from downstairs: "Hey, Mom! What's the keypad number?"

Cindy comes flying down the stairs in her Connie Sellecca for Montgomery Ward pajama set with matching sateen robe, screaming at Brandon, "This is a very loud way to wake up in the morning!"

What follows is a non-hilarious bit about Brandon getting the code wrong, only not getting the code wrong...

...Cindy on the phone with the security patrol, who basically tell her they can't do anything...

...Brenda and Jim arriving in the foyer, and Brenda, wearing her as-usual adorable pajamas, screaming at her brother, as someone should do each and every scene of each and every episode...

...Cindy switching lines to talk to Mrs. Kravitz Cooper, who's about to call in armed guards or some shit...

...and finally, because Jim is a man (debatable, but whatever) he's able to get the alarm to stop.

Also: Cindy's a woman, ergo a completely incapable doofus.  I'm pretty certain that's the take-away here.  Anyway, Jim's peanutty head puffs up because he's such a manly stud and he's smugs out, "For my next trick I will pull a rabbit out of my hat." Cindy continues the tradition of non-humor and half-assedly covers the receiver of the cordless phone and "whispers" (because it's actually a very loud hiss that Mrs. Cooper would've ABSOLUTELY heard), "No, do the one where you make Mrs. Cooper disappear!"

Next we have the Mustang driving down some street.

Brenda and Brandon are talking about Cindy being all frazzled over the alarm system.  Nice conversation.

Brandon turns from the street and into the Driveway Of Popcorn (because he's taking Robbie to school, remember? Oh, you don't? Because it's boring and lame? And IT DOESN'T MATTER because this little "popcorn for a ride to school" deal only lasts for this episode and then Robbie apparently starts hitch hiking to West Bev and then subsequently goes missing, because, as aforementioned, following this episode, We Never See Him Again? Precisely)...

...and nearly slams into Charise as he does so.  She is not amused.

Brandon exits his vehicle and comes at Charise like the condescending, antagonistic, stumpy little piece of smudgy leprechaun scat we all know and loathe, telling her, "Charise! Babe! You gotta settle down, or you're gonna die behind the wheel and take me out with you." Charise does not respond, "One can hope! And also: don't ever call be 'babe' again, you fucking mutated garden gnome," as I would've, but rather, "Sorry, Brandon, I didn't see you."

So then Brandon, Charise and the bow in Charise's hair all talk about how Charise is not in college, as Brandon presumed, but rather, attends Baldwin High School, near where the Ashes used to live.  Brandon doesn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to attend West Bev (perhaps because people like you, AHHHHHHHNdrea, David and Steve go there? Just a guess) and Charise's initial response is this award-winning Cunt Glare:

My feelings exactly, Charise.

And instead of hearing what Charise had to say on the matter, we cut immediately to The Blaze office and an EXTREME close-up of Brandon (GAH) giving AHHHHHHHNdrea his ridiculous impression of what Charise told him: "'I wouldn't go to West Beverly if it was the last hellhole in the galaxy.  Too many cashed-up snobs.'" Which, I mean...Donna? Kelly? Steve? I guess what the writers are trying to tell us is that Charise has really good instincts.  Whatever, he tells AHHHHHHNdrea, "And you should've heard the way she dissed on everybody at Beverly."

AHHHHHHHHNdrea, not realizing that NO ONE has ANY SHITS to give about her says, "I can relate to that one." Brandon gets super-tacky and talks about all of Charise's family's money and AHHHHHHNdrea laughingly tells him, "Princesses come in all shapes and sizes," and then Brandon adds all KKK-ly, "And colors."................................................................*opens the mason jar of crickets kept nearby for just such an occasion, releases them into house for a good long listen*

So of course AHHHHHHHHHNdrea can't just hear an anecdote someone's sharing with her without making it all about a potential story idea for the ever-loving Blaze, so she thinks that Charise's plight would make for interesting copy.  And OF COURSE she brings up her own non-problem of living out-of-the-goddamn-district with, "Here I am lying through my teeth about living in district so that I can come here, and she is driving halfway across the universe to avoid it." Yes, AHHHHHHHHHNdrea, but the difference is, NO ONE CARES that you live out of district.  And come to think of it, I don't care that Charise does, either.  Because it's SNOOZERS topped with a heaping heap-full of NO ONE IN HUMANKIND GIVES A FRECKLED FUCK and a side of ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, followed by a Ketamine/chamomile tea cocktail chaser.  In conclusion: take your Kathy Lee Casuals matching shirt-and-toddler-hair-bandeau and shove them up your ass, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea.  But first, you'll probably have to reposition the nosegay of sticks you already have lodged up there.  I can wait.

And then I guess she thinks she's Amanda Woodward or something, because she connivingly tells Brandon that he'll have to go through Robbie to get an interview with Charise, and if Robbie really wants to work on The Blaze, he'll play liaison.  I never knew AHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea and the greasy, mottled, weather-beaten bags under her eyes were so calculating.

Neither did Brandon.

Outside to the courtyard or wherever and Steve, who has never looked more 41-years-old.

And then....this happens? What? I mean, the whole black-and-white, whatever.  I've quickly grown accustomed to the violent, stabbing pain that kicks in somewhere in the vicinity of my entire body when it's used.  But why is Steve playing frisbee? And who the fuck is he playing frisbee with??? One of the faculty members, who's clearly closer to his age than any of his "friends," who are only his "friends" because Samantha SAUNders pays them off in Hartley House syndication earnings?  HELP ME UNDERSTAND, SHOW.

So then we cut over to this ogling perv, who appears to have a disturbing fixation with this one one particular group of people which is pretty troublesome and indicative of some kind of mental defect and/or inevitable spooky psychological breakdown, if you ask me.

Back over to this, and I guess someone in The Gang brings a blanket or a yoga mat for when they want to sit outside and Dylan feels like leaning back between Brenda's legs all broodishly or whatever.  Steve, abandoning whoever it was he was throwing around the frisbee with (RUDE), is all, "Why is it that every time I look up, that Robbie kid has a telephoto lens pointed at me?" Donna echoes my sentiments from earlier, telling the others, "You know, he kind of reminds me of David Silver.  I mean, except that he's black."

Dylan says, "I didn't know David Silver was black," which was legitimately hilarious.  Brenda, who's wearing a blazer I'm pretty certain I would do some filthy things for, like, run my fingers through Steve's mulleted tresses if it came down to it, informs the others, "I think Brandon has a thing for his older sister," which GEE WHAT A NON-SHOCK, seeing as Brandon will want to hit skins with every goddamn tertiary female character on this show until the end of its existence.

Anyhow, we then get another completely original and brilliantly timed black-and-white of Brenda turning toward Kelly following her non-bombshell revelation about Brandon and Charise.

Back over to Robbie and Brandon coming up and not finding it at all worrisome that the little creeper (who isn't helping the whole David-comparison thing by dressing exactly like him) is again taking long shots of his friends and his sister.  Instead he simply asks, "Mr. Ashe, how you doin' today?" and Robbie tells him, "Good timing, Walsh.  I just framed your twin sister for a prize winner.".....................................................*opens a second mason jar full of 20 Mule Team Borax mixed with alpha hydoxy acid, kept nearby for just such an occasion when some mutant says something pretty disturbing, dumps over head like someone in a fucking Gatorade commercial*

Blah blah Brandon tells Robbie he wants to interview Charise re her reasons for not going to Beverly or West Beverly or some such nonsense no one anywhere ever cares about blah.  Robbie fills Brandon in on the fact that Charise doesn't like white people.  My assumption is that Charise actually really doesn't like Brandon, but her brother is covering for her by lumping all of the caucasion race in with him.

Next, we randomly cut over to this car pulling into the parking lot of a restaurant called Tamale Heaven.

We cut back to the Living Room Or Wherever Of Popcorn and Charise on the phone, listening to the other end ringing.  Captivating, I know.

Back to the interior of Tamale Heaven and this guy, whose name we soon find out is Ramon (a name which I will never be able to hear without reciting "To see Ramon?" because I am a fucking time-warped headcase who has a lot psychological problems) answers the ringing phone.  Charise asks to speak with Devo (NOT wearing the hat, RUDE) who's the dude in the background there.  Devo would rather not speak to Charise, presumably because he's too busy thinking about eventually wearing the hat? I hope? Has the hat bit gone too far? No? I didn't think so.  Whatever, Ramon's not havin' it and tells Charise that Devo will be right with her.  Devo and his pumpkin-hued shirt are not pleased with this development.

Next we get the same exterior shot of Chateau Popcorn.

Inside to the foyer and Robbie SHOUTING, "Mom, you look terrific!"

Felicity does look terrific in a motherly sort of way, but I'm fairly certain that compliment would mean a lot more to her if it wasn't coming from her peeping Tom of a son.  She informs the boys that Poppa Popcorn is being honored by the Chamber of Commerce that evening (for all of his strides in the field of microwave popcorn development, no doubt) and that Brandon and Robbie can eat a bunch of popcorn that hasn't been released to the public yet.  Yeah, I don't know either.  But I can tell you that the interior of the Popcorn Homestead is giving me some major Fresh Prince of Bel Air vibes.  And no, not just because its inhabitants are black.  FINE.  I'M A RACIST.  WHATEVER.  But seriously - it does.

Back to Charise on the phone with Devo, asking him if he wants to come see her.  Devo says that he does but doesn't want to make the drive up to Beverly Hills because it's far as fuck (I'm paraphrasing...with my own thoughts on the matter) and Poppa Popcorn would be poppin' mad if he found out.  SEE WHAT I DID THERE.  Anywhatever, Devo keeps making excuses and Charise asks him about later and Devo tells her, "I just think I should lay low because, you know, with my brothers in town, they might be tryin' to run some mind games on Moms, you know what I'm sayin'?" I personally do not know what he's saying, but I'm going to assume that it's gang-related because whenever any black character appears on this show it generally involve gangs or violence of some kind.  So Charise gets all pissed and essentially tells Devo to die in a fire and then hangs up on him.  The end.

Oh! But it's not the end, because this intrusive pygmy is about to stick his nose all up in Charise's business.

Charise is RAD and shoots Brandon this amazing look of disdain after she catches him eavesdropping on her conversation.  He claims that he wasn't dropping the eaves but that, "All I know if you have a boyfriend who detests Beverly Hills about as much as you do."  Charise tells him that she doesn't have a boyfriend and that she doesn't hate Beverly Hills, just the people in it, and by "people" she of course means solely Brandon.  And I added that last bit but I'm pretty certain it was a part of her internal dialogue anyway.  Brandon then does another really poor impression of what she told him earlier:

"FYI, Brandon, Beverly Hills ain't heaven on Earth."  Also: this gif that I made right here? Is going to be the catalyst of all of my night terrors for the remainder of my life, I'm pretty sure.  But for some reason Charise finds it really funny so they flirt in this really asinine way, like Brandon tells her that his mother once told him he's a nice guy and to "always be polite to the ladies," and Charise asks, "In all shades and colors?" and Brandon huskily replies, "Never stopped me before," I guess referring to all those ethnic girls he did The Nasty with back in Minnesota.  Anyway, not that I'm some porn connoisseur but all of this seemed like a really weird set-up for some skin flick action.  And being that it involved Brandon, that's just fucking revolting.

Cut back over to the foyer and this dork comes out with his Styrofoam-peanut-looking popcorn and Brandon tells him that he (Brandon) is taking Charise out to dinner instead.  Robbie asks if his sister agreed to be interviewed and Brandon says, "Well, actually, I didn't bring it up.  I figured we'd get to know each other first, see what happens, if it's all right with you." Robbie claims that it's cool with him while mentally deciding how he's going to cut the brakes to the Mustang later.  Also: we see very shortly that Brandon just takes Charise to The Peach Pit to meet everyone, so why couldn't Robbie have joined them? Oh, because he's a complete nuisance and if he and David are ever in the same room the world will collapse on itself? I see.

Back to Tamale Heaven.  Ramon is talking about cousins of his who are working on a house in Beverly Hills, "Same house, different wings," and then he flaps his arms and continues, "Wings, man.  The house is so big they gotta fly from one end to the other," and then he and Devo laugh and laugh because instead of the patio misters some restaurants employ to keep their customers cool, Tamale Heaven uses laughing gas misters to keep their customers and employees laughing an inane jokes all day long.

Ramon tells Devo to go visit Charise and Devo's all, "You think I should give her a call, man?" Ramon slaps the back of Devo's head, probably because he was hoping to knock loose the ludicrous woman's earring currently clipped to Devo's cartilage.  It unfortunately doesn't work.  Anyway, Ramon lectures Devo on the art of romance with, "What she wants is for you to show up at her doorstep with flowers and some strawberry yogurt." ??? I don't know.  But he does this:

And I feel like Ramon and Steve are spirit animals.

I mean.

Peach Pit.

Close up of Charise, smiling, saying hi, as Brandon says, "This is Charise."

And then Brandon's all, "This is David, Donna and Dylan," and David adds, "You can just call us the three Ds," which was actually pretty funny.  Funnier still is Dylan looking at David like this and telling him, "I don't think so."

As Brandon introduces Brenda we get a shot of Charise's Fly Girl Finest...

...and then Brenda telling her, "I like what you're wearing."

Over to Steve who says, "And I love the way you wear it." MY GOD.  But! KELLY'S FACE IN THIS MOMENT.  Kelly's face speaks for us all.

Kelly then gets introduced and Charise tells Kelly that she likes her outfit...

...which is Kelly's cue to pull Brandon in and stage-whisper all SUPER-classily, "This is very hip, Brandon.  Very hip." I'll bet you Kelly thinks the House Of Popcorn looks like it fell out of an episode of Fresh Prince as well.

Next: over to a payphone somewhere, and Devo, having purchased a shirt from the Steve SAUNders Collection, speaking with an operator, trying to get an exact address on the House Of Popcorn, which isn't listed.  This isn't going to end well, is it?

To the H.O.W., with the alarm going off

The zany alarm humor continues with Jim desperately punching at the keypad and Cindy on the phone with Mrs. Cooper, and Mrs. C. informing Cindy that she called the Security Patrol, not because of the Walshes faulty alarm, but rather due to Mr. Kaplan's barking dogs.  Do any of you even remotely care about one iota of this? Didn't think so.

Back to Devo, walking along some street, and an adorable little Corgi (I think?) comes trotting up beside him! Devo is a monster who totally deserves his seconds-away comeuppance, however, by shooing the dog away.  Racism, schmacism.  WHEN A DOG APPROACHES YOU, YOU PET IT.

These officers roll up...

...and they totally agree with me, seeing as Officer 1 here asks, "Hey! Hold it! Don't you like animals, kid?"

Devo's all, "Well, I can take 'em or leave 'em, but uh, I work at this tamale stand so they must smell the meat, you know?" But really, these officers didn't give a rip about the dog, they just wanted an excuse to approach this black kid and harass him about where he's going and who he's seeing and ask him what he's got in his sad little brown bag (which is the yogurt, not a handgun or nunchucks, in case you're just tuning in).  Then Officer 2 on the left gets all handsy with Devo, who tells him, "Hey! Get your hands off me, man!"

So of course, the only logical reaction to that is for Officer 2 to slam Devo onto the hood of the patrol car and hiss, "You responsible for all those burglaries, my man?" Officer 2 could really use a good facial peel.  Perhaps dermabrasion.  Devo tries to explain himself but Officer 2 tells him to shut up.  Um? You asked the question, Officer 2.  And then Devo attempts to right himself but gets slammed back into the car.  And I think we can all agree that that scene was really horrible.  And not in the way that this show is generally horrible, either.  Moving on.

The next morning inside H.O.W., Brandon and Brenda descend the staircase and Brenda informs her brother that Robbie called while Brandon was showering *shudders* and won't be needing a ride to school.  And then Brenda says, "I really like Charise, everybody did.  Do you think she liked us?" Brandon replies, "Yeah, she even liked Steve." No seriously.  That's what he says.  Look: 

I even screencapped the moment he said it with the close-captioning on, seeing as I really didn't think anyone would believe it.  Because who the fuck would like Steve?

Into the kitchen and Cindy is on the phone for the 37th time this episode, saying, "That's terrible.  That's terrible! When did the police leave? Well was anyone else injured?"

The twins sit at the counter with Jim and Brenda asks what's up.  Jim fills them in: "Your mother's speaking to Mrs. Cooper right now, so I don't know how viable any of this is, but apparently there was a prowler outside the Ashe home last night who turned out to be a friend of the daughter's, you know, the crazy one with the sports car."

Brandon and his Blush-And-Bashful bronzer think they're Stud Studley or some shit because Brandon braggarts, "Yeah, I know who she is, Dad, I took her out last night."  I'd like to remind Brandon that he didn't slide his Little Minnesota into Charise's popcorn maker or anything, he just took her to the goddamn Peach Pit to hang out with his friends and eat a hamburger.  Shut up, Brandon.  Anyway, Jim seems kind of appalled and asks, "You did?" and Brandon wants to know if there's some kind of problem with that and thankfully Brenda interjects these doofs and asks for the straight poop on what happened.  Jim tells her, "The security patrol was called and all hell broke loose."

To the Front Door Of Popcorn.  Robbie opens the door to greet Brandon and visually inform his new neighbor that the House Of Popcorn contains no mirrors or reflective surfaces.  Brandon gets all nosey parker about the happenings of the previous night, which Robbie has no interest in talking about, which he awesomely demonstrates by closing the door in Brandon's Stupid Brandon Face.

Inside H.O.P., Poppa Popcorn is berating his daughter about Devo, blaming her for his appearance in their neighborhood, etc.  It's basically their same argument as earlier in the episode, so see above if you need any clarification.

West Bev quad, parts of which appear to have been watered.

Brandon meets up with Steve, wearing his Office Casual Friday attire again, and Kelly, wearing a blazer which could double as a mini-dress.  Brandon refers to the two as "Steve-O and Kellster" and I in turn Cowardly Lion myself out of the nearest window.  Anyway, Kelly asks what's up and Brandon, thinking they're talking about the Devo v. Security Patrol incident, tells them, "I wish I knew.  This PR guy at the police department's been givin' me the runaround all morning." Kelly clarifies that they want to know what's up between Brandon and Charise, and Steve ever-so-Steve-ly adds, "We were just wondering if there's any jungle fever happening."  Brandon responds with, "You know, you two really oughta consider getting back together again," which would be a MAD BURN if you failed to take into consideration that Brandon himself will be this close to walking down the aisle with Kelly in the near future.  YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF SOULLESS, VAPID, HORRIFYING TROLLS.  Whatever,

Oh blimey.  Brandon's giving AHHHHHHHHNdrea the scoop on his lame detective work and how "a young black guy gets detained and harassed on a public street for no apparent reason other than the color of his skin and nobody wants to talk about it." With you? Of course they don't.  Anyway, then he's off to find Robbie to be even more intrusive and tactless than he already has been.

But first, a sidebar: What in twee jumper hell is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea, in all of her 47-year-oldness, wearing?

We know the scene with Robbie is next, seeing as we get a black-and-white of this poor janitor and his trash bag.

Brandon sprints up to Robbie and starts interrogating him, again, about the disturbance between the security patrol and Devo.  True to form, Robbie doesn't wish to discuss it with this fucking weasel he met like, 3 days ago, so he blows Brandon off.   Brandon, seeing that he's not going to get his way, throws a tantrum and turns into the emotionally abusive, blackmailing fuck-face we've all come to know and hate and want to die by telling Robbie, "If you wanna be our new staff photographer, I suggest you find a way to help me out here."

Luckily, Robbie doesn't play into Brandon's pathetic mind games and says, "Well, if you put it that way, I strongly suggest you find yourself a new photographer." Brandon's all, "What's the prob?" And then much like Scottie Brought The It on David in the previous episode, Robbie follows suit with Brandon and momentarily becomes my favorite one-episode, third-tier character in Beverly Hills, 90210 history: "My problem is you, man! You are a user and I'm sick of it! You blatantly used me to get to my sister! You use every opportunity you can find to make me painfully aware that when you look at me, you don't see the new kid on the block.  You see the new black kid on the block.  And I hate to tell you this, but in my eyes, that doesn't make you a whole hell of a lot different than those dudes at the security patrol." And he's seriously like, shrieking and everyone's staring and cheering on the inside like me and that girl in the pink shirt there, because Brandon.  GO ROBBIE.  No, seriously, go.  And change your shirt while you're at it.

Brandon and Brenda's ride home from school.  Brandon's ranting on about what a jerk Robbie is for essentially calling him a racist.  Brenda also thinks knows her brother is a horrible racist, which she lets him know by saying, "If you didn't think there was a kernel of truth to what he was saying, you probably wouldn't be so angry."

This weird sax plays us over to the Driveway Of Popcorn, where Charise and the outfit she pilfered from Blossom Russo's closet are pulling in.

Unfortunately, Charise can't make it to her front door in time to avoid Brandon and his buttinski, meddling ways.  She lets him know that Robbie told her about Brandon's article and that, "I should've known better than to go out with a boy from Beverly Hills." Brandon says, "When I asked you out, I didn't ask you out as a reporter, I asked you out as a friend.  Or at least someone who wanted to become your friend." Charise is having none of it, advising Brandon to go so that Poppa Popcorn doesn't come home and find the twerp and ground her for another month.  Then the Alarm Of The House Of Walsh goes off for the infinity time and Charise is all, "You better rush home and call the security patrol.  For all you know, a Negro might be breakin' into your house." I...don't know how to follow that...? Like, I know this meme has been played to death, but this is seriously what I look like right now:

Shall we move on? Yes? Very well.

Except for the fact that Brandon, as always, doesn't want to move on, and gets his Patented Abrasive Brandon Face on and lays into Charise, all, "Okay, okay, fine, you win!  I'm the bad guy!  I'm the biggest bastard in the history of Beverly Hills, all right? You can say or think anything you want about me.  I don't care.  But what happened to your friend Devo on this street last night was wrong! Now I wanna write a story about it, but I need you to tell me how I can get in touch with him."  Apparently, Cindy never taught Brandon the old adage about catching more flies with honey than with a belligerent, slug-worthy douche face.

Charise (whose face-game is ON POINT, I might add - perfect brows, flawless skin, great lip color) does us all a favor by saying, "Go home, Brandon." Except that she forgets to follow it up with, "You piece of shit."

Brandon heeds Charise's advice and goes home, where the alarm is still sounding.  And since Charise shut his verbal abuse down, he decides to take the rest of it out on his mother, who, YOU GUESSED IT, is back on the phone with Mrs. Cooper.  He gets right up in Cindy's grill and shouts, "If you and Dad don't disconnect that thing, I will! It's embarrassing Mom, it really is!" like he's starring in the reboot of Death Wish or some shit.  I'd also like to remind Brandon that the only embarrassment here is him.

Brandon heads into the F.O.W., where a tech guy and the cokey-vibed alarm dude are attempting to figure out the glitch in the system.  Brenda and Brandon have a holler-conversation about how Devo probably wouldn't have been hassled the night before if the security patrol hadn't come out to answer the Walshes false alarm.  Good detective work, Brenda! Also: I blame Jim.

The alarm finally stops and Rando Guy pays lip service to Brandon (because he's the man of the house or something? Barf) about the Walshes being very patient and offering to help them out however possible.  Brandon uses this as an in to invoke his Mad Investigative Journalistic SkillZ and asks, "When your security officers detain someone, do they fill out a report?" Rando Guy's all, "Duh."

A little later? I guess? Brenda comes into the foyer as Brandon hustles down the stairs.  She asks where he's off to in such a hurry and he tells her, "Tamale Heaven." She asks him where it's at and he says that it's "somewhere between Watts and the airport, I think." And don't bother: I already Googled it and there are no Tamale Heavens in the Los Angeles area as far as I can tell.  Oh, you weren't going to Google it, seeing as you're not an utter life-squandering loser? I see.  I will point you in the direction of a great blog, however: I Am Not A Stalker.com, which includes many, many posts dedicated to the BH, 90210 filming locations, including Tamale Heaven.  If I had more time on my hands (aside from work and half-assedly writing this blog and watching old episodes of everything) I would totally go on a self-guided tour of all the places Lindsay blogs about.  But since I'm so busy (read: lazy) I only really come upon stuff when I'm not intending to.  Like the Carly/David Bungalow from The Later, Wholly Offensive Shit Sack Years? Is right across the street from my El Pollo Loco (yes, I have one).  And it's kind of exciting to drive by it with my three-piece leg-and-thigh meal in tow.  YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE (yes you do).

Brenda shows concern about her brother heading to an admittedly not-so-great part of town to interview Devo, and Brandon responds as only he knows how - like a jackass: "Brenda, just stay out of it!  It's got nothin' to do with you!" Brenda pissily calls after him, "Fine just go," but then she still seems all concerned and whatever.  Really, she should be down on her knees, praying he gets caught in the cross-hairs of a gang-related drive-by shooting.  Or maybe it's me who's doing that.

Next, we have scenes of "bad" neighborhoods.  Also: whatever the third-rate replacement song that's playing here has an opening lyric of "You open up your legs, let me lick the devil," and then goes on to an ever-more appetizing, "I roll downtown to eat around chow, blowing, vibing to surround sounds." Pardon me while I projectile defecate everything I've ever digested.  THE HELL???

Throughout, we get shots of Brandon behind the wheel all panty-waisted and with nerves of dandelion spores.

He finally pulls into the Tamale Heaven parking lot...

...and sees these "thuggy" types exit the restaurant.

But because Brandon's butch, he's not afraid, and he has some moronic stare-down/face-off with these dudes who don't look "thug-life" so much as they look "late-80s ad campaign for United Colors of Benetton."

Devo comes out of of the back door and spots the nonsense going down.

He walks up to regulate, rather than allowing fate to run its course in the form of the "thugs" giving Brandon a much-deserved beatdown/curb-check combo.  Damn you, Devo.  Anyway, he gets all lecturey with the hoods, all, "What's up, fellas? So what are we trying to accomplish here? Didn't Ramon warn you all about mashin' hangin' around here? Your whole posse know what's up, man.  Y'all keep this up you're gonna get busted.  If y'all packin' or carryin' I strongly suggest y'all step off before the man gets here.  You know what I'm sayin'?" So then some sirens start up in the background and Devo says, " Oh, you're larger than life now, huh? The siren don't mean nothin' to you, huh? Move!"

So then Kris Kross Plus One scoots their boots on out of there.

Devo turns to Brandon and advises, "If you're lookin' to score, I strongly suggest you go back to your side of the hill, you hear me?"

Brandon, lacking any sort of respect for anything or anyone, including Tamale Heaven's potential trespassing laws, follows Devo into the back of the restaurant and says, "Hey, I'm not a doper, man.  I'm a friend of Charise's." Hands of everyone who's pretty certain Brandon watched a rerun of 21 Jumpstreet the night before and picked up the word "doper."

At the mention of Charise's name, Devo turns around and casts Brandon this impressively murderous glare, and it's times like these when I wish the idiom "if looks could kill" was 1000% true.

While he didn't die from Devo's ice cold grimace, I'm pretty certain he did crap his ill-fitting jeans.  He goes on to tell Devo that he wants to do an interview with him for his school's paper about what went down the night before and Devo's basically like, "Fuck yourself," and then Brandon sees the bruises and cuts on Devo's face and asks, "Did the security patrol jack you up, or was it the city cops?" Devo wins the prestigious Line Of The Episode Award by responding, "Did you say 'jack you up'? You've been reading your Spike Lee handbook, haven't you?" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Brandon actually had one.  Or if he had just watched a bunch of Mars Blackmon Air Jordan commercials.

Brandon demands that Devo drop the attitude, and that he wants to tell his story because it's important, and Devo looks at Brandon like I always look at Brandon (right before I purge into the toilet, that is) and basically tells him that while he's not welcome in Beverly Hills, Brandon's just as "not welcome" in the Tamale Kitchen neighborhood.  Or something.  Devo brings up the Rodney King incident and how stuff like that happens in this area everyday.  And then he picks up more trash (no, not Brandon) and heads back outside.

Brandon mostly just wants to continue listening to the sound of his own condescending puke voice, so he follows Devo and says, "You look me in the eye and tell me this doesn't make you angry." Devo gets all Debbie Downer and launches into a really fucking depressing story: "Look, man, it makes me angry, all right? More important, it makes me sad.  You want a story, Blondie? [AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA] I got a story for you, all right? My mother, who means the world to me, had to go out and beg for money, man, in the middle of the night, to pay for a taxi to bring her into Beverly Hills, man.  I will never, ever forget the expression on her face when she rolled in that emergency room.  My mom has four boys.  Four.  Two of them are in prison, the other one's on the pipe and then there's me, man.  I'm the one she never had to worry about.  All I do is try to please her, man, and make her proud.  I try to do what's right." GOD.  Talk about a buzz kill! Amirite?!?

NOOOOOOOOOOO.  A black-and-white of Brandon listening to Devo's story.

AND THEN, Robbie's magical camera gets a shot of Devo FROM AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ANGLE.  Satan, take the wheel.  And by "the wheel," I of course mean, "my life."

Then Brenda and Charise roll up.  Where's Robbie? Hopefully taken out by the Bel Biv Devoe-looking gang members.

Charise goes to Devo and hugs him, thereby killing Brandon's boner for her.

Brandon wants to know why Brenda's there and she tells him, "Well, after you left, Robbie just happened to be walking by, so...here we are.  Kind of beat, huh?" Brandon's all, "No.  It's kinda nice." And then he sticks his tongue down her throat.  Not really.  But I wouldn't have been surprised.  And he does kind of really inappropriately grab the back of her neck, though.

Back over to these two and Charise telling Devo, "We gotta talk," and then Devo offering to make her a tamale.  Sounds like a solution to me! And I mean that.

OH MERLIN.  This choad appears and asks, "I guess this means you're going through with your big expose, huh?" Brandon says he's not sure anymore and Robbie is apparently over hating Brandon's innards because he says, "Well, I think you should put it out there.  And if you do, there's some pictures that your trusty staff photographer's been taking that you oughta look at." Like the ones of Kelly sleeping and of Brenda changing her bra and of Steve Nair-ing his downy chest?

Brenda flings an arm around Robbie and asks, "You know what I'd like, guys?" A duel restraining order against these two?

WHERE IS THE NEAREST RAZOR BLADE STORE.  A black-and-mother-fucking-white of Brandon and Robbie, half-embracing and holding up their tamales.

Then a shot of Brenda about to take another...shot.

Which JIMINY CHRISTMAS we are yet again subjected to.  And while I realize that the whole "black-and-white" plot contrivance was probably meant to be some deeply profound commentary on race relations, if I ever see it used again anywhere ever I'll fucking off myself.  Oh, there are still two more instances of it in this episode? Prepare the concrete freeway pillar that I'm going to 87-miles-per-hour my car into, please.

L.R.O.W., the next whatever.  The Gang + Robbie sit around eating popcorn.  And then they all discuss their favorite flavor of the popcorn.  Because that makes for engrossing t.v.

We then get a shot of White Robbie stuffing his ugly mouth with the aforementioned popcorn.  Everyone laughs.  And I proceed to die a little more on the inside.

So then there's this non-funny bit about Donna wanting a popcorn dipped in yogurt sauce (a sort-of throwback to the "Slumber Party" episode where she tops her ice cream with popcorn) and Robbie telling her it's already in the works and Steve being all, "Are you kidding?" and Robbie having really poor comedic timing ("really poor" = "none to speak of") and shouting, "YEAH! PSYCH!" Jesus, what a fucking irritant.

Over to Dylan on the couch, wearing an odd, Casual Jim-ish sort of polo shirt.  He makes the mistake of complimenting AHHHHHHHHHNdrea and Brandon on the paper.  And then he quotes some bullshit line from Brandon's article and it really made me dislike Dylan for a little while.

The doorbell rings and Cindy emerges from the D.R.O.W., wearing an outfit from Jim Carrey's early stand up days, to answer it, and OF COURSE it's Mrs. Cooper and OF COURSE she's bitching Cindy out for cancelling her alarm system contract over "one questionable incident" and Cindy tells her that they have company at the moment and that she met Mr. Kaplan and she likes his dogs and then she shuts the door in the old bag's face.  Cindy sure showed her! Or not.  Whatever.  What an idiotic subplot.

Cindy hurries back to the dining room, where she and Jim and the Ashes are drinking coffee and eating cake, and Jim and Poppa Popcorn are talking sports and Cindy and Felicity are jabbering on about Cindy's ugly China.  I'm really glad that Jim and Cindy have made these lifelong friends who we will see them interacting with again and again over the course of their time on the show.

Hey! More madcap driving high jinks!

Except not really.  Brandon and Charise sit in their respective cars in the middle of the street like a couple of assholes and talk about how Brandon's article changed Poppa Popcorn's life and he's rediscovering his roots and now allows Charise to hang out at the seedy Tamale Heaven with Devo.

Smug Brandon gets even smuggier.  Gag me.

And of course an episode wouldn't be complete without sending me to the ER on a self-imposed 5150, so we get a black-and-white of Charise smiling at Brandon...

...and yes, a black-and-white of Brandon smiling at Charise.  And then apparently Charise gets into a fatal accident with a big rig on her way to Tamale Heaven because We Never See Her Again.

Check back in next time for "Necessity is a Mother," an episode where Dylan does some more of this:

Only this time it's with a beer.  Or sparkling apple juice, who knows.  We're also AT LAST introduced to THE Iris McKay and her Westminster Dog Show partially-braided poodle perm.  She in turn apparently introduces Cindy to the Heaven's Gate cult, as evidenced by this picture...

 ...which depicts Cindy preparing for take-off on the alien spacecraft for her eventual meet-up with Comet Hale-Bop.  LOOK AT THE MAN SITTING IN THE FUCKING 3-D TRIANGLE SCULPTURE THING.  If that doesn't scream "Weird Religious Faction Hell Bent On Wearing Head To Toe Muslin While Kicking Back With A Nice, Refreshing Glass Of Flavor-Aid" I just don't know what.  Until then.

All images courtesy of the author's Mad Microsoft Paint SkillzzzGoogle


  1. High-larious! I remember this episode, and thinking it was kind of rude when Brenda complimented Vivica's outfit and Vivica said to Kelly "And I like what YOU'RE wearing" as if she definitely didn't like what Brenda was wearing. But then again, these writers couldn't write anything but stilted dialogue if their lives depended on it. And Brandon's smugginess: out of control.

    1. It's funny, because I totally had some rant about Vivica not complimenting Brenda's outfit but complimenting Kelly's in my notes but it didn't make into the commentary. So instead I'll use this response to make my feelings known: WHAT A BEYOTCH. Take your Jennifer Lopez as Second Fly Girl From The Left jacket and fuck off.

      Also: "stilted" is seriously the best description for what passes for "dialogue" on this show. And yet, I still hold it near and dear. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME DEAR GOD.

      Anyway, thanks again for reading and commenting, much!

  2. hey Carly, so i usually tweet my love/thoughts/appreciation for your blog on twitter @dmitriy_h but i figure i should start writing to you here because i guess i can fit in more words :) not so restrained by the 140.

    So as always, geniusly crafted review of 90210. Can't really praise you enough for your attention to detail, humor, wit, edginess.

    I know I already posted a few thoughts about this review on twitter, but I have just a few more.

    1. the part where brandon drops off Ashe the third at his home the very first time and as Ashe is leaving, Brandon says "go easy" (or something to that effect). Seriously..... "go easy", must have also been in the Spike Lee handbook. This whole episode was full of phrases and words that Brandon/Brenda would never use if not dealing with this "urban" theme. When Brenda said "wiggin' out" in the car in reference to Cindy.

    2. the scene where the alarm goes off the second time. when jim hits it to make the noise stop and cindy is on the phone. cindy turns to jim and says "way to go honey" (something to that effect). then does this facial expression like to show that what jim just did really turned her on. then she quickly tells ms. cooper that she has to go, hangs up, and the scene ends. I didn't really catch on when i was watching this in the early 90s as a kid. but now seeing this, i clearly think it was meant to show that they were about to go upstairs to get it on cuz jim hitting the wall and being all manly really turned cindy on.

  3. 3. why was devo walking through beverly hills, didn't his tamale heaven friend/colleague offer to lend him his car.

    4. Over to Dylan on the couch, wearing an odd, Casual Jim-ish sort of polo shirt. (nailed it!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  4. 5. the scene where robbie gets really angry and yells at brandon at school. I get why robbie is upset, and him calling brandon a user to get to his sister, i get, i get, i get. BUT, BUT, i really didn't get how then robbie just transitions his tirade into the lines "You use every opportunity you can find to make me painfully aware that when you look at me, you don't see the new kid on the block. You see the new black kid on the block. And I hate to tell you this, but in my eyes, that doesn't make you a whole hell of a lot different than those dudes at the security patrol." please explain to me how what brandon is doing is related to what robbie is saying. it seems out of place. i get robbie is just a high school kid and he was mad, so sometimes you say things you don't exactly mean out of frustration and anger. but still, were the writers just out of clever ideas of how to tie race relations into the dialogue and just decide to throw shit against the wall and make robbie yell out trigger words to get attention. maybe im wrong, and you can correct me, but just that part about comparing brandon to the patrol and all, just didn't sit right with me in terms of how robbie was being developed as a character albeit for one episode

    1. Dimi, you're totally right on this. I agree that the race-relations tie-in to why Robbie was actually mad at Brandon was a stretch.

    2. thanks :), yeah, i guess the writers wanted to use the race card as often as possible just to hit us over the head and remind us again and again AND again that this was an episode exploring racial tensions. and as you pointed out that this is why they used the black and white photos, to FURTHER emphasize, haha.

  5. 6. " Charise is having none of it, advising Brandon to go so that Poppa Popcorn doesn't come home and find the twerp and ground her for another month." wouldn't Poppa be happy Charise is hanging out with a decent guy, at least as far as Poppa knows of Brandon. Why would he ground her for talking to her neighbor?

    7. "Go Home, Brandon." I really don't get Charise's attitude here. Brandon wants to expose a pretty disgusting incident of police brutality. If anything, it's a positive to let these horrible incidents come to light. Not discussing them will only make them reoccur. So why does she completely dismiss what Brandon is trying to do. She seems like a smart girl. Again, maybe i'm seeing this wrong.

  6. 8. if the writers deserve any credit at all, it's for including the line that brenda uses about woodward and bernstein. i'm sure there were kids/teens watching back in the early 90s who caught that line and maybe went to look it up,... maybe.... maybe... am i reaching here? i know it made me curious originally to find out who they were.

    9. 5150 - thanks for that, now i know, now i know :)

    1. The only reason I'm familiar with the 5150 is because of Britney Spears and the one she was placed under several years back. Because I've been on a steady diet of reading gossip blogs all the live long day for a while now.

    2. it's funny you mention britney, cuz just the other day they had carson daly on this talk show called centerstage. he was being interviewed about his career/life/etc. a lot of time was definitely spent on discussing his days at TRL/MTV. i used to LOVE that show. watched it almost everyday after school. the good old days when britney was young, fresh faced, and made good music. i guess as britney fans we should all be glad she was able to make it out alive thru her crazy years of the mid 00s with kfed and company. honorable TRL mention to bsb, nsync, 98degrees of course!

  7. 10. ANDDDDD lasty. this is more of a general thought, which i think this episode does well at emphasizing. so we can all agree that dylan and brenda belong together. if you notice, and even highlighted beautifully by Carly's choice of screenshots, how, for lack of a better word, harmoniously and organically dylan and brenda look when sitting together in the beginning of the episode when robbie photographs them or later when sitting on the yoga blanket with the gang. D&B really work well as a couple, it looks realistic. something that never came across on screen when he was with kelly or even toni for that matter. With kelly it always looked forced, i hated it. with toni.... ehhh whatever, by then brenda was gone and dylan was someone else. But those screenshots and photos really capture why their love came across and transcended time and space for us fans and why we connect to the dyland and brenda relationship so much. when they were together and held each, it looked so real. maybe it also had to do with the fact that luke and shannon just photographed well together, much better than luke and jennie did. even in that episode where dylan and brenda go to baja and that scene where they are dancing together, it just looks so natural and simple and believable. i really hated that the writers broke them up. i really don't think it added to the show. only caused me to hate a lot of the things after seasons 3/4. (i really still of course love 90210, but im just saying, breaking up dylan and brenda was a big no no for me).

    when dylan and brenda were sitting together in the quad, it also totally reminded me of that scene in clueless towards the end where cher talks about how dionne and murray can be so romantic towards each other when nobody's watching, and they show dionne and murray sitting on a bench being all lovely towards one another.


    also, i think kelly and steve should have taken brandon's advice and gotten back together. they always looked natural and real with one another, kind of like dylan and brenda did. in all the scenes where steve would put his arm around kelly or walk with kelly, it looked completely believable and realistic. another wasted opportunity i think.

    1. Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry had really great chemistry. Even as an 11 year old or whatever, who didn't know the first thing about what "sexy" was - I found them sexy together.

    2. Totally agree here. I was around that age too, and barely understood intimate relations as well. But those two just worked on every level. Sometimes people's energies just sync well and it radiates to the viewers. As a teen and even now, it really breaks my heart what happens to them later on. I dread watching those scenes. Brenda tossing her "out of time" REM cd with "losing my religion." This may sound a bit cheesy and perhaps hyberbole to some (not to me though, but i could see how it could be to some), but i really do think the "dylan and brenda" relationship is one of the great love stories of tv series history. up there with carrie and big, ross and rachel, who else can we name? chuck and blair? maybe...

  8. So, this time around, I actually took notes while I read this post because I usually have a zillion comments to make after reading but forget them all and end up making tasteless jokes about Casey Kasem's corpse. Because of this, I am now convinced that you are Tyler Durden to my Edward Norton's nameless Fight Club character, because I wrote, about the Tamale thugs, "Bell Biv Devoe video extras."

    Kelly does have a really tiny mouth, doesn't she? It's always bothered me. She also clearly has BRF (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk) which is evident in the shots Nubian David took of her.

    I think Robbie disappeared for a couple of seasons and then reappeared as the hacker nerd who helps Steve break into to West Bev's computer grading system. In the time he was away from the show, he grew a rat-tail but managed to maintain his irritating personality and hideous wardrobe.

    OK, wtf is on Brandon's face in the "blush and bashful bronzer" picture?

    Thanks for the laughs, seriously. This post was quite topical as I live in St. Louis and only 2 blocks from the most recent police shooting. It's been a tense few weeks of protestors and uncertainty as to what's going to happen. I now realize if I write an article and get it published in a local high school paper, all will be peaceful again.

    1. 1. haha, i totally did the same thing this time around, i had a notepad file open and kept adding little notes to remember for later on :)

      2. bitchy resting face, i heard it referred to as resting bitch face (RBF), which one is more mainstream RBF vs BRF? haha

      3. i actually thought of that too while reading the review about robbie being reincarnated in senior year as a computer hacker with the obi wan hair from the prequel trilogy

      4.you mean... that thing on his left cheek?, audience right

    2. "I now realize if I write an article and get it published in a local high school paper, all will be peaceful again." This is brilliant. I have nothing to respond with because it's AWESOME. Can you write my blog instead of me? Of course, I will continue to slap my name on it and accept all the awards, prestige and accolades that come with it.

      I will refrain from commenting on Kelly's RBF, as I, too, suffer from this condition. Although, I wouldn't necessarily consider it "suffering" seeing as I'm glad that maybe a fucking idiot won't talk to me because they (correctly) assume that I'm a bitch.

      The Bel Biv Devoe bit was totally last minute. I think I had some other comparison in my notes but as I was finishing up it just came to me. And I have no problem being Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden to your Ed Norton's Nameless Whatever.

      Also: the thing on Brandon's cheek is his dimple. Gross, right? Mostly because it's Brandon but also because it's Brandon. And he looks really scrubby in that shot, like he's been dune-buggying all over Moab or something. HEAVE.

    3. about the RBF, if you guys have ever watched the brilliantly insightful and well acted show "how to make it in america" which was very sadly cancelled after two short seasons on hbo. there is a scene in season two where lake bell's character is working for a magazine and her boss tells her "hey, has anyone ever told you that you have a hostile listening face"

      p.s. current the master of RBF is bethany mota on dancing with the stars, watch her facial expression when the cameras cue over to her after some other couple finishes their dance

    4. the school article part, i totally somehow missed it the first time i read it, but yes PURE genius there. thanks Carly for highlighting it in your reply.

  9. OK, I promise I'm not stalking you. I was trying to figure out if you had an email inbox or something through Blogger because I wanted to send you a message and somehow I think I requested your lost password be sent to your email account linked to Blogger. SOOOOO...if you see that in your inbox, know it was me and please don't request a restraining order against me. Or do. I probably deserve it.

    I will not write your blog for you but I will continue to comment on every post you write because YOU are the brilliant one. Or I am if you are actually me.

    Brandon's dimple makes me want to spontaneously combust.

    Speaking or RBF (or BRF or whatever it may be termed), you've seen this, right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wRXa971Xw0

    1. sounds like a stalker to me... cue the restraining order in 3.....2....1.....

      :) :) :) i'm only kidding. i'm just as in love with this blog and Carly's writing as you are, so i could totally see myself doing that too, haha :)

      and again, as Carly said, your comment on the school newspaper is brilliant!

    2. So I started to watch the video (which I haven't seen, by the by) at work and near the beginning, Jenna says, "MOTHER FUCKER" which OF COURSE, I appreciate, but I doubt that any of my co-workers do. SQUARESVILLE. So I'll watch it later at home.

      AHAHAHAHAHA on the lost password thing. I didn't even think that was something someone could do on someone else's blog. I did get the email in my Spam box (NOT a euphemism, and no, I don't know what that means, either) and wouldn't have thought anything of it if you hadn't said anything. Instead I laughed and laughed. I would request a restraining order, but if I am you and you are me, I would just be serving it on myself, no?

      My brain stem hurts. I have to go.

  10. Ah, the episode where Brandon solved racism!

    But, as you point out, the real problem with this episode is that it spends SO MUCH TIME introducing new characters (including two new ADULT characters) that we'll never see again. At least when Saved by the Bell introduced Zack's fling-of-the-week, they didn't devote entire scenes to her parents.

    Cindy then whips out a pamphlet from the West Beverly Hills Patrol ("So A Black Family Moved Into Your Neighborhood")

    "Oh, I'm sorry, that's the wrong one. Hoe embarrassing. Here's the pamphlet you want."

    "What she wants is for you to show up at her doorstep with flowers and some strawberry yogurt." ???

    So I've wondered, ever since I first saw this episode at a probably-inappropriate-age, is that, like, a thing in some (any) cultures? Is strawberry yogurt considered a delicacy somewhere? Does he mean FROZEN yogurt, like ice cream (which makes sense)?

    I'm glad you were at least as confused as I was.

    And then they all discuss their favorite flavor of the popcorn. Because that makes for engrossing t.v.

    I'm starting to think this episode was sponsored by the popcorn industry...

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  12. This f*cking episode .... when I watch it, I HAVE to make some popcorn. And now, after you mentioned 'House of Popcorn' and 'Pappa Popcorn' a million times, I had to go make a bag of popcorn too! Stupid popcorn references!

    This episode makes my eyes/ears bleed! It's that typical late 80's/early 90's race relations television episode that EVERY popular TV show of this era had at least once. For a show that ran as long as 90210 did, I am sure they had more than 1 race episode. They are typically cheesy, and always have some 'message' that everyone laughs at in the end. Lame-O!